Sunday, October 21, 2012

Why should we serve the kids at church!

If you are like me, then big dreams and goals are just part of who you are.  You want your life to matter and to leave a positive impact on your children  family, friends and people who cross your path. The life I want to live is not just an ordinary life.  I don't want to live a life full of what I want and need.  I don't want to live a life just to please myself or for the approval and pleasing of people.  I want to live a life that glorifies only God.  How do we do that?  What does that look like?  Is that really possible?

If you don't know me, I get excited about all kinds  of stuff.  My mind is always going.  I guess you could say I'm an entrepreneur at heart.  I never have small ideas.  Everything that comes to my mind, I want to do big!  I love to share in other people's dreams too. To encourage them to know how big our God is and that anything with Him is possible.  I truly believe that with all my heart.  If people could just let go and see beyond the barriers and focus their mind on Christ, dreams would come true, families brought back together, marriages healed and experiencing joy, peace, love, forgiveness, like you never have had before. 

With all those big dreams and ideas I have, God had to slow me down and tell me, "none of those things can happen until you prosper where you are planted."  God has called and gifted me with speaking, teaching and a love to encourage and inspire people.  He has placed  a women's ministry in my heart.  Before that can take root and grow God said, " if you can't lead your family,help your husband and prosper with all I have given you how in the world are you going to have a women ministry?"  I've experienced first hand watching people go after their "dreams"  however leaving their family behind.  Killing the very first blessing God had given them.  They had the applause of people, the money and all what  the world calls success but found themselves with broken marriages and  children hurt because of a absent mother or father. This is not what God has called us to do. 

Last year Pastor Jeremy  asked me to serve as a large group teacher for the kids ministry.  I'll be honest, this was the last ministry I really wanted to be a part of!  I home educate my kids all day so teaching more kids just didn't seem all that appealing to me.  Plus I want to big people ministry!  I want to talk about deeper issues and have adult conversations! I have bigger dreams than serving kids! I seriously was throwing a baby fit! It sure sounds kinds of prideful doesn't it!  However, God asked," Is this about you or is this about me." Ouch!  He sure can convict you if you are listening!  Not only did I have to put what I want to the side but also had to face some fears.  I had some reasons or I should say fears of why I didn't want to get involved.  It really had nothing to do with the kids but more of the adults!  What if I said something wrong, what if they don't like me, what if I don't fit in and what if they don't accept me? These were some of the thoughts that kept going around in my head!  Oh the fear of REJECTION!   But God keeps reminding this is not about me nor about everyone else.  It's about being obedient to God.  I'm to stay focused on him and if those things happen then He will deal with it not me!  Fear works like that trying to keep you away from God's biggest blessings.  I knew to trust God and with my hubby and oldest daughter  encouraging me we all  jumped in feet first. 

I'll be honest there are days that I just don't feel like serving. I'm tired and there are a million other things I could do. However,  It is only one day a week and sometimes I can only serve two times a month.  It's not about what we feel. It's not about what we want to do.  It's all about God and he loves his children.  These children mean so much to him. He told me, "If I can't lead and connect with these kids then all those big dreams of leading a women's ministry  are just in vain."  I don't know how long I will be serving in the children's ministry.  The small amount of time I've been serving, they have been more of a blessing to me than I have been to them. I love serving with the team that God has placed in my life.  I love the young kids that work the sound system and serving with them.  I love serving with my husband and my daughter.  Most of all I love looking into those big brown eyes of my two kids that sit at my feet on Saturday nights  listening to me teach the word of God to them and their friends.   When  you have a chance to hear these kids hearts and they trust you enough to poor their fears, troubles and success to you, it's extremely humbling. 

The reason I write this is because Metro Kids really needs some help.  Pray on it and if God is leading you to serve, you will be welcomed with open hands and hearts not just by both the volunteers but by all those kids who show up every week looking for someone to love them!  I believe if we take care of these kids the way God wants us to and not look at them like they are a burden  our church will be more blessed because of it! But we should not be serving these kids in order for God to bless us,we are to do  it because it's what God expects us to do. 

Mark and I  don't serve these kids to please anyone else but our father in heaven.  He cares so much about these kids so we should too.  It shouldn't be a ministry we run from  but to ran after even if it's only for a season.  When we can prosper with what God has already given us, when we can lead our families, be the spouse God has called us to be  and take care of the children first, then my friend the doors to what ever else God has placed on your heart shall be opened! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Is Education Really Important?

When someone finds out Mark and I home educate our four kids, the first questions that pops out of a persons  mouth are what about testing?  How do you know if your kids are learning something?  What about the act or sat?  Do they have to take the MEAP?  Do they get a diploma or GED?  How do they apply to college?  These are all legitimate questions and are important to some degree but it's not the most important on our list.  I know you are probably saying to yourself, "Has she lost her mind!"  The answer is , "NO, I haven't! Well, I guess it all depends on who you talk to!!!"

I just received a message from a friend on Facebook about someone we knew in high school.  This man was educated ,went to a great private school in the area and had a successful job.  He was married with a son but was found guilty of murdering his pregnant girlfriend.  He is facing life in prison without parole. For some reason college, ACT scores and  job title doesn't seem that important especially when divorce happens in 40%-50% of marriages and every 13.7 minutes someone in the United States dies by suicide and 5 in every 100,00 people are murdered. ( not exactly sure if those  statistic are accurate.)

Should we as parents be so focused on college, test scores and grades?  Should we be more concerned with teaching our kids by example what is means to be a husband and a wife.  What it means to be dedicated to our family.  What it means to sacrifice for the people you love.  Maybe we should be more concerned with their character and teaching them about positive and negative consequences.  Helping them realize that one of the most important decisions in their life will not be a career because those you can change.  It won't be what college you went to or how smart you are because you can always learn something new at any age.   It will be who you decide to spend the rest of your life with.  Sure you can get a divorce but think about all the heart ache that it causes when a family decides to break apart because mom and dad just couldn't get it together.  (I'm not putting down anyone who has gone through a divorce.  You already know how hard it was and what it did to everyone emotionally and spiritually. I'm sure just because you went through a divorce  you would not want your children  to experience the samething in their marriage.  You would want them to break free from the cycle.   Thankfully,  God forgives and can  make all things new again. However, does God really wants divorce part of  our lives. If you are a Christian, marriage is suppose to represent the beauty and love of Christ.  When two people get it right and live a life for God it's the most amazing and incredible witness to our Lord)

What we should be grooming our kids for are successful relationships.  How to be a Godly wife or husband.  How to handle family conflict.  How to forgive, give grace and mercy.  How to respect not only their parents but siblings.  How to lead their siblings and work as a team.  Teaching them people skills.  To learn about themselves and how to relate to others.  They need to learn how to prosper where they are planted.  Their family is a training ground for their future.  How they treat each other is glimpse on how they will work with others, how they will treat their spouse, how dedicated they will be to their family and how successful they will be.  They need to know and understand what the word of God says and why it's so important  to obey God not just because mom and dad said so. It's about helping them develop a deep and loving relationship with God our Father. These kids  need to be loved, nurtured and protected not controlled and dictated. 

What are we doing to help our children succeed in this area?  Are we praying for them personally, for Godly friends and one day a Godly Spouse?  Are we seeking God for wisdom to help teach our kids or are we trying to parent on our own?  Are we living by example or just talking the talk?  Are we teaching our kids to look to God for advice or  from friends and the media?  Are we building our families on the word of God?  The Word of God says, "Unless the lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guard stand watch in vain." psalm 127:1. What ever is not built on the word of God is built in vain.  This does not mean our kids won't mess up.  This does not mean they won't end up in a messed up relationship. They have free will, are human and make mistakes.   Though, I do believe the chances will be smaller and hopefully we will have more men leading their wives and children. More men  and women dedicating themselves to their family instead of their job, not  men and women leaving their children abandoned  while they are stuck behind bars for the rest of their lives.

"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Should this be called Facebook or Fakebook?

Facebook or as I like to call it "fakebook"  can be used as a great tool to stay connected with friends, family, the latest news and follow people you respect for advice, motivation and even encouragement.  But has facebook and other social media  taken away  real love and abiding friendships?  How many people really celebrate the success of other's?  How many people that claim to be your friend has a  heart that aches when faced with disappointment, failure, struggles in marriage, family or children.  How many of these friends we know not only on fb, but at work, mom's groups, and even at church truly want to share in your dreams and goals. Do they really want to encourage and support you or are they patiently waiting for something to go wrong?  Let's be honest, we all struggle, if not now, but at some point with jealously, insecurity, pride and not being content with what we have and it has killed friendships, families and destroyed marriages. 

As I'm studying King David in the Bible, it talks about a friendship that David had with a man named Jonathon.  This man was King Saul's son. Saul intended for Jonathan to become the second king of Israel, but this son of his  has other plans.  In David, Jonathan saw character fit for a king.  He was so determined that the throne be occupied by God's chosen instrument that he offered everything he had.  Jonathan could of had the entire kingdom  but instead he sacrificed himself for his friend and God's plan. In the Bible it talk about how Jonathan removed his robe and tunic and placed it on David, symbolizing that David would be king instead of him!  Jonathon  could of been filled with jealously and claimed what was given to David as his own.  It wasn't like that at all.  Jonathon and David had an instant bond that only could of been brought together by God himself.  Jonathon's commitment to help David was based on Jonathan's love, not David's response. Even though David had a heart for God, he was not perfect.  Jonathon looked beyond his faults. David could say anything and Jonathon never took it personal nor did he judge him. He accepted him for who he was and when David messed up, He didn't turn his back on him.  His motivation was based on pure love not ever wanting anything in return but to see David live God's plan and  purpose He had for his Friend's life.

Every time, I hear the story of David, I pray that I have a heart like his and that I let go of all my fears, to continue to run after God and  live the life he has set before me. However, as I grow closer to Christ, I also pray I can  become more like a friend to others like  Jonathon was to David. If I'm honest,  I know at times I'm not the greatest friend to the people God has placed in my life. I want to be more like a friend like Jonathon  and not a "fakebook" friend that most ( Not ALL) people unfortunately are today. 

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